Grizzlies climb in NBA power rankings thanks to win streak

Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Memphis Grizzlies center Steven Adams-Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Grizzlies have surged to near the top of the NBA power rankings thanks to their nine-game winning streak. Here is why they will only go up from here.

The Grizzlies have been on an absolute tear over the past few weeks, pushing them up power rankings across the sports media landscape. The Athletic has them up to third just behind Denver and Boston, and also has them in third. With only a few wins separating the top teams in the league, the Grizzlies could easily find themselves in the top spot in the near future.

These next few weeks before the All-Star Break will be huge as teams look to distance themselves from the competition. It will also be important to determine if any moves are needed before the trade deadline on February 9th. From the Grizzlies’ perspective, it’s hard to feel the need to change much with how they are playing.

The Grizzlies have a clear path to the top spot thanks to their schedule, good health

The Grizzlies are already in a groove thanks to their nine-game winning streak, but they also have a very favorable schedule over the next few weeks. They only face three teams currently above .500 over their next 10 games: the Cavaliers twice and the Kings. They should be favored in every game outside of their road game against Cleveland, and even then it will probably be a toss-up.

Adding in the healthy return of all of their impact players now that Brandon Clarke is back, it would be surprising to see them not make a case for being the top team in basketball. The key will be keeping their star players fresh and keeping up their tenacious defense. Especially since Jaren Jackson Jr returned to the lineup back in November, the Grizzlies have had the best defensive rating in the league to go along with a well-above-average offense.

Opposing teams simply don’t have a lot of weaknesses to exploit. Trying to force the Grizzlies to win with perimeter shooting is the best they can do, but with Desmond Bane back and improved shooting by the bench guys, it’s no guarantee. I still want to see this team beat the other top teams in the NBA consistently, but this season has been a big step forward for a still-young core. Barring more injury issues, this team has what it takes to be considered the NBA’s top squad. Here’s hoping we see their win streak extend well into the double digits.